Welcome to The Melbourne Review of Books.


The Melbourne Review of Books is a venue for reviews, literary criticism, essays and discussion on  stories.


We at MRB value good writing and authorial voice. We also encourage our contributors to find a positive aspect in their reviewed material. However, while we try to maintain a high quality in our posts, we impose no editorial voice on our contributors. Any opinions expressed in reviews or essays are entirely those of the writer, and not a reflection of the views of the MRB as a whole.


The MRB reviews both solicited and unsolicited publications. We endeavour to review all copies sent to us although the volume of books received means that this is not always possible. Our preference is to provide thoughtful reviews, and this means that sometimes our review turnaround is not fast. We hope to contribute by taking the more considered road at times. In exchange for review copies received we aim to provide a thoughtful and interesting review. We do not resell review copies, whether ARCs or otherwise. Books that reviewers do not wish to keep are donated.


The world of books and stories has changed drastically in the last decade. Here at The MRB we want to review and discuss written stories (and storytelling) of the modern global culture while also casting an eye back to great books of the past.

So what sets The MRB apart from other literary magazines?

The first thing is that we aim to pay serious attention to genre fiction. Whether romance, crime, thriller, science fiction, fantasy or horror, any book that is shuffled onto the genre shelves tends not be taken seriously by most literary venues. We think that a really great romance deserves to be reviewed just as seriously as a really great piece of literary fiction.

We will also be looking very closely at print on demand, podcast books and ebooks. Currently, we think that literary venues are not paying much attention to self-published works or eBooks. In the past there was very little to entice a reviewer to wade through self-published works, but increasingly the eBook is becoming the paperback of the 21st century. We think that the book-selling and book-reading world is sitting on the threshold of a big exciting time. Books are not dying, if anything they are expanding exponentially both in terms of their sheer numbers and ways in which they can be enjoyed. We want to keep a track of what trends may come and watch for authors that no-one else is watching for.

Comics and graphic novels, and maybe even narrative computer ‘games’ will be reviewed here too. Comics have matured vastly in the last two or three decades and some of the best stories being told today are hidden in the pages of these drawn stories, both in print and online. The other place where storytelling is taking on a whole new fascinating scope are narrative  computer ‘games’ where the whole point of the experience is to discover a story, not solve problems or shoot aliens. This is still a very young area of written narrative with only a couple ready examples to discuss, but it is a field we intend to watch closely.

Finally, we are not very obsessed with reviewing only new titles that are coming out of the bookmills right this moment. Although we will kept abreast of new titles where we think they deserve attention, with the hundreds upon hundreds of books being produced each week, there are bound to be many excellent titles that have already slipped through the reviewer’s nets and were never noticed. There are also great and wonderful authors of the past who deserve some discussion and consideration now and then, whether they are obscure novelists or acknowledged masters.

Basically, we aim to be genre-friendly, audio-friendly and ebook-friendly. We think that if all a magazine or site is doing is reading and reviewing literary fiction printed on dead trees, they’re now missing out on the vast bulk of stories told in words that are being enjoyed by people today.


We do not run ads. We do not run those pop-up things where the background turns grey and you are forced to watch a car commercial or an ad for insurance from a country you don’t live in. We do not use paywalls. We will not run banner adds, we will not assail you with one weird trick boxes or you won’t believe these nine ways to make you click a link gimmicks.

What we will do:

We will run novel excerpts. Preferably the first chapter. These will always be marked as sponsored material.

We will run giveaways or competitions. Eligibility for such competitions may depend on the nature of the competition and where in the world you live. Sponsored giveaways and competitions will always be marked as such.

We may decide to promote a local Melbourne business such as an independent bookstore just because we really like it. If we decide to promote a local business because we think they’re just fabulous, we’ll tell you that up front so that you know it is a recommendation not an advertisement.



Send any questions or queries to melbournereviewofbooks@gmail.com

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